Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about newspaper pages:

“I absolutely detest the newspaper publishing a 3/4 page to wrap around the front page or other sections, including the comics. If the advertisers using this method understand the irritation, I think they might stop this practice. It is a total waste of the advertiser’s money. I automatically throw the 3/4 page into the recycle bin without even looking at who is advertising there.

“Sometimes they use the 3/4 page in the comics section. Sadly, I just recycle the section without reading the comics. It is not worth fighting with that page or trying to hold it together. -- Nan in Texas”

Nan, it’s just the way things are today! Advertising (in any form) helps keep the cost of the newspaper down. If it bothers you, just tear it off and enjoy the rest of your paper. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: Could you please give me your definition of a “white elephant gift”? I have asked a few friends, and the answers were vague or unclear. -- Patsy, via e-mail

When most people say “white elephant,” they are talking about a fun or silly gift exchange. Each person brings a wrapped, unmarked gift of predetermined value. The gifts are placed in a pile. Each person then draws a number. The person who drew No. 1 goes first and unwraps a gift. The person with No. 2 can either unwrap a gift or take the gift that No. 1 unwrapped. And so on. This is where the game can get fun, and a little crazy.

There usually is a set price or a theme, or there are just “gag” gifts. If you have been invited to a gift exchange, ask the host for what the guidelines are. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Other uses for cereal bags:

* Instead of wax paper to cool cookies on.

* Between hamburger patties before freezing.

* Chop nuts inside of one.

* Wrap baked goods in one when taking lunch.

* Place wet trash in one before throwing out.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: After I purchase a garment, I pin a safety pin on the underside of the maker’s tag or washing-instructions tag. My skirts all have a safety pin pinned along the inside of the hem. There’s nothing worse than being somewhere and in need of pin and not having one. -- Bea, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: When a person pulls on the paper of a toilet-tissue roll, sometimes it just keeps coming, even though the person has enough. I have found that if I squeeze the roll before placing it on the holder, it is flattened, and that actually keeps it from continuously rolling out extra paper that is not needed. This works great with small children, and also adults — no more tissue paper left hanging or causing wasteful usage. -- Anita in Ohio

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate